Safety Technology

Italian Supermini First Car To Ever Receive A Zero-Star Safety Rating

Clearly the car is in desperate need of an upgrade.

Car safety has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, with the advent of advanced driver assists that prevent accidents happening altogether. And yet occasionally we still see outdated cars fail to live up to modern safety standards. Euro NCAP has rounded off its busiest ever year with safety ratings for fifteen new car models that were subjected to rigorous crash tests. While the Jaguar F-Pace, Hyundai Kona, Kia Stinger, and the BMW 6 series were awarded five stars, the Fiat Punto supermini fared less well.

The Fiat Punto now has the dubious honor of being the first car to ever be awarded with zero stars for safety since Euro NCAP was established 20 years ago. While the Punto continues to be a strong seller in Italy, it hasn’t been updated since it was first introduced in 2005 so it’s really starting to show its age against its modern counterparts. “The aging supermini is outclassed by every car tested in recent history and becomes Euro NCAP’s first car ever to be awarded zero stars,” Euro NCAP wrote in a damning report. The zero-star safety rating “came because of low scores for its crash performance, combined with the absence of key technologies such as Autonomous Emergency Braking”.

The dismal ratings speak for themselves: the Punto was given a 51 percent adult occupant score, a 43 percent child score and a 52 percent pedestrian safety score. In another Euro NCAP first, the Punto scored zero percent in the driver assistance and crash avoidance since it only has a seat belt reminder system for the driver as standard.

“This is perhaps the strongest example of a manufacturer continuing to sell a product that is well past its best-before date, at the expense of the unsuspecting car buyer,” said Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen. “We would urge consumers to check our website for the latest ratings and to choose cars with the most up-to-date five-star ratings, many examples of which we have seen in 2017.” It’s worth noting that the Fiat Punto ironically scored a five-star Euro NCAP rating when it was crash tested back in 2005, which shows how much more stringent the organization’s crash tests are now to reflect advances in safety technology.

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